#CitizenshipAmendmentAct: The Dirty Dance of Democracy

To the Modi-Shah government whatever ideas seem threatening, instead of being debated its best to ban them

A fog smitten city, cold weather, impending socio-political unrest, the imposition of section 144, students and lawyers protesting, distrust in the policing system, kilometres of traffic jams, everyday commuter’s dilemma Metro might or might not be working. And the mango people going about their day with no dismay. 

This is no imagination of a dystopian society this is Delhi NOW. 

It was just the last week that Citizen Amendment Bill was passed by both the parliamentary houses that unleashed a wave of protest in the country. We all are very well aware of what followed – protests in Jamia Milia Islamia University, Aligarh Muslim University and other nationwide protests. 

Student’s got manslaughter by the police in their libraries, in their hostels! Students that are supposed to be assets of this country, the future, were beaten up, bruised by the system we believe in as a democracy! Is this a democracy anymore?

And the blaring foghorn comes for Mr Prime Minister when he tells people of Dumka, Jharkhand, “Jo aag laga rahe hain, TV pe unke jo drishya aa rahe hain, yeh aag lagaane vaale kaun hain, woh unke kapdon se hi pata chal jaata hai.” (People who are setting out the fire can be recognized by their clothes) Actually a very cheap shot Modi Ji!

Then there are ironies such as these!


Anthropologist Mary Douglas in her book Purity and Danger defines dirt not as a material object but a result of classificatory construct – a matter out of place and it had to be policed, destroyed, eradicated. Dirt as a construct demands system of surveillance. It’s dangerous that our elected government is creating the ‘classificatory construct’ on the basis of CAB and NRC. And treating ideas too like dirt – To the Modi-Shah government whatever ideas seem threatening, instead of being debated its best to ban them. 

And when we the people demand to keep the constitution intact the government happily triggers its ban culture and censorship. Whenever there’s the time of disturbance maybe Kashmir, Assam, Aligarh, Delhi the first thing that the government bodies do is to cut them off from the rest by imposing bans and curfews, even internet! According to SFLC.in, a legal services organization, last year internet services were shut down by the government (local, state and national) 134 times and so far this year, 93 shutdowns have occurred. 

Banning and censorship are the ideas of dictatorship and also now of electoral democracies. We have to look no further than North Korea to understand the repercussions of these ideas. With each passing day, we are pushing the people of this country towards the brink of chaos. 

It remains to see how far this dirty dance of democracy goes? 


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